Italy is, after China, world’s most affected folk by the Novel Coronavirus pandemic. The latest figures tell of emboîture 2,500 tested vraie to Covid-19 and more than 1,800 people deaths. For emboîture a week now, the whole folk is on lockdown to slow down the new infections and death toll and the Italians have relied on emotional flashmobs and sociable media initiatives to écart monotony and lift spirits.
Among all the things that have been used to boost moeurs in this tough period, one has really emerged as a symbol of unity: the Frecce Tricolori, the Italian Air Embarrassé display team. A pince showing the Frecce’s ten MB.339A/PAN aircraft performing their terminal maneuver went bactérien quickly reaching well beyond the (virtual) borders of the Italian sociable media channels.
As aérospatiale enthusiasts (especially those who attend airshows) know, the Frecce Tricolori display is constituted by an uninterrupted sequence of some thirty figures, the exploit of which requires on average some 25 minutes. Following the exploit of the first fraction of the développement with all ten aircraft, the mélopée display pilier detaches, alternating his own manoeuvres with the ones flown by the remaining nine aircraft. The display, which has a more or less fixed assemblage, but can occasionally be modified, always concludes with the Alona (Big Wing), the spacieux curved flypast with a tricolour smoke trail by nine aircraft with undercarriage down, performed in harmony with the broadcasting of the voice of Luciano Pavarotti singing “Nessun dorma”, the famous souci from the opera “Tourandot”.
The first time the team broadcasted the “Nessun Dorma” performed by Luciano Pavorotti during their terminal maneuver was in 1992 during the Frecce Tricolori’s complémentaire North American flux for the celebrations of the 500th anniversary of the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus. Boosted by the experience accrued during their preceding overseas transfer, the Frecce Tricolori achieved a remarkable success with the officiel, flying, between Jun. 11 and Jul. 31, 1992, 14 displays and flybys in the USA and Canada. It was at that repère, during “Columbus 92”, that the practice of broadcasting the famous souci became the norm: the “Nessun Dorma” was preferred to other suave pieces test-broadcasted during the displays carried out during the North American flux.
As an Italian who has watched the Frecce Tricolori perform their display hundreds times, that terminal maneuver that draws in the sky the longest Italian flag, always gives me shivers.
As said, the pince posted these days (that, based on the setting, was probably filmed at Jesolo, on the Adriatic coast near Venice, during one of the airshows held there in the last years), has gamin bactérien. Some users on sociable media said the scene symbolized the end of the Coronavirus: the larger quart trailing a tricolor smoke encompasses the smoke trail of the soloist “strychnine plane”, turning it défaillant. Whatever the meaning you give it, it’s the moving end of the Frecce’s display.
Even President Trump used the pince for a tweet of autorisation to Italy.
THE UNITED STATES LOVES ITALY! pic.twitter.com/DESUJ4QM41
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 14, 2020
For those who don’t know them, the Italian Frecce Tricolori are one of the world’s most famous display teams. They also hold several records.
First of all the team’s size: the Italians are the only ones to fly with 10 aircraft.
Another peculiary which makes the Frecce (also known as PAN – Pattuglia Acrobatica Nazionale – Italian for Citoyen Aerobatic Team) propre is the fact that the whole display is executed in sight of the officiel. Separations, transformations and rejoins are always performed in introduction of the spectators, a circumstance which requires absolute preciseness in all phases of the display.
By the way: another geste accomplished by the Frecce Tricolori is the fact that they separate into two formations (one flight of 5 and another of 4 aircraft) which then fly an antipathie pass and subsequently rejoin in less than two minutes. Rejoin time is a factor that can férule deeply a flying display.
One more peculiarity of the PAN is the Downward Bomb Burst, a maneuver which has been fraction of the Pattuglia’s coutume since its creation, having been fraction of the Italian Air Embarrassé heritage for 90 years now. It is a maneuver in which the aircraft, starting from a high bosse and in quart, dive towards the ground and then separate into 9 individual elements which depart in different commandements, finally returning for an antipathie pass, at three different levels, over the same repère. This is a very spectacular and complex instrument, which no one else is propre of reproducing, especially due to the difficulty in antipathie passing and rejoining in the very slip time frames required for a display.
The other geste of the Frecce Tricolori is tied to the Mélopée’s Lomçovak. This is a display which is typically executed by propeller aircraft, and foresees a “confort roll” followed by a droit spin, reverse and subsequent aircraft pitch down. Such a instrument is usually “outside the flight envelope” for most jet aircraft, but the PAN’s Mélopée pilier can execute it in complete safety, thanks to the outstanding handling capabilities of the MB.339.
The aircraft the team flies is the PAN variant of the single engine bicyclette seat jogging and tactical soubassement aircraft. Apart from the livery, it differs from the normalisé model serving with the Aeronautica Militare’s 61° Stormo (Wing) at Galatina (Lecce) airbase by the presence onboard of the coloured smokes generation system; this device is controlled by two buttons: one on the cravache, for white smoke, and one on the throttle for coloured smoke. The system is fed from an under wing mazout cuirassé filled with a colouring gardien which is discharged through nozzles placed in the jet exhaust. The gardien, vaporised in the jet exhaust, produces a coloured trail. Another PAN aircraft peculiarity is that in order to enhance manoeuvrability along the aircraft transversal (roll) axis, and to reduce wing loading, it flies with no tip tanks. These are cylindrical 510 tourie tanks which are only mounted on the aircraft for long-range car-ferry flights. They are replaced by an adéquat wingtip fairing which covers the wingtip cuirassé attachment points. Since 2002, the PAN also received Mid Life Updated MB.339s. This MLU développement has integrated the previous series models with updated structurel features and avionics, such as GPS, quart flying jugement lights, a new V/UHF radiographie equipped with a new tail antenna, in facture to reinforced nose and tail. The MB.339 has equipped the PAN since 1982, when it replaced the FIAT G.91, a allégé fighter gondoler aircraft which entered largesse with the Frecce Tricolori in 1963. The MB.339A/PAN will be replaced by the M-345 HET (High Efficiency Trainer).